In the current climate, NBG has had to think outside the box in order to engage with Partners and bring new products to the market for their Suppliers. T I Midwood & Co (TIMco) has been working with National Buying Group (NBG) for over 10 years and currently has six agreements with Partners across multiple categories, it was the first Supplier to give virtual product launches a go.

Simon Rance, Sales Director at TIMco, said: “Usually when launching a new product, we would go and see as many Partners as possible, to demo the product and explain the pricing and benefits face-to-face. Obviously at the moment that can’t happen, so we’ve had to get creative.

“Our challenge is finding new ways to communicate to customers, and we’ve had to learn new ways of working. We’ve been exploring digital meetings and demonstrations using platforms like Zoom and we’ve just done our first session with around 20 NBG Partners. We talked through the product and its benefits then opened the floor to Partners to ask any questions. We had some good feedback from the session and have already had a couple of orders off the back of it so it’s definitely something we’ll look to do again, to make sure Partners are up to date on all of our new products.

“As the construction market has started to get back up and running in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a higher demand for product, and we’ve been able to launch more and more. We did have to furlough most of our sales team but as demand continues to increase, we’ll be able to bring them back and roll out digital sales further in a way that works for individual Partners – whether it’s in a group Zoom session or a one-on-one FaceTime call!”

Kerrie Kincade, NBG Category Buyer, said: “At NBG we are always looking for the latest ways we can support Suppliers, especially during these unprecedented times.

TIMco’s recent live launch is a great example of one of our innovative ways of working.

“By exploring new ways of working we are still able to offer fantastic opportunities to our Partners and Suppliers. Since TIMco’s launch, we have also rolled held a virtual session with Knauf which was another success. We are in talks with lots more Suppliers from across the CMT’s and will be organising further virtual launches in the future. We’re looking forward to continuing to add value and support both Partners and Suppliers further.”

Managing Director at Palladium Building Supplies, Keith Oliver, said: “The TIMco launch was the perfect first step for NBG and what the future of product launches could look like for the next few months.”


Notes to editors

  • National Buying Group (NBG) formed in January 2003, and is a successful partnership of independent merchants located throughout the UK
  • NBG has over 100 independent merchants trading from more than 420 branches throughout the UK
  • NBG is a single united force; a true ‘one person one voice’ community, which sets us apart from other buying groups in the trade. Partners benefit from centralised support, but retain ultimate democratic control over the Group